Surgery for an untreated case of cleft lip deformity
The sleepy town of Nagercoil, Tamilnadu, India had two visitors today, each more unique than the other.
First was a young boy from Goa, approximately 27 years of age. What was unique or different about this boy was that he was an untreated case of cleft lip deformity. He hadn’t got it treated all these years because of some ancient age-old belief that such deformities mustn’t be operated upon or they will invite evil spirits. Rahul was clearly unhappy with his self-image and wanted to change it for the better but did not know how to go about it. And as luck would have it, our director Dr Sunil Richardson stumbled upon him in his trip to Goa and promised to help him out of his agony. Rahul came to our hospital with hope in his eyes.
Cleft lip child with his mother.
The second was 3-month-old Baby Yashasvi who came all the way Jaipur with her parents. She was a case of bilateral Cleft lip and palate. Her parents come from a well-educated background and wished to get the best care for their baby. Her father was also a case of cleft lip deformity and tracked down our center for quality treatment for their child.
Both the cases had a thorough pre-surgical battery of tests done after which the treatment plan was decided and shifted for surgery. The cases were treated by done using a rotation-advancement technique under general anaesthesia. Continuity of the orbicularis muscle was established as well as rotating the medial lip element down and advancing into alignment the lateral lip element.
Before and after surgery image of cleft lip boy
Dr Sunil Richardson believes that the first surgery is always the most important one and is what forms the rock foundation of all the other surgical treatments.
More public enlightenment towards awareness and thus the development of a positive attitude toward children with Cleft lip & palate deformity is needed. Adequate knowledge and awareness of cleft lip and palate deformity may help to counter the negative beliefs and attitudes toward the condition.